— December 8, 2017
Instagram is one of many social media platforms businesses are including in their social media marketing strategies. Using social media can help boost your overall search engine optimization efforts, so this article will share some tips about how to make the most of it. It is important that as of now, Google has said they do not use social media as a ranking factor. We know this is true because simply having a profile on a platform would boost rankings… but, as you read on, you’ll see that social media activity does have an indirect effect on your rankings.
Track the Success of Your Instagram Link
Use the Google URL Builder to add tracking code to the end of the link you place in your Instagram profile. In the end, you’ll have an incredibly long link, so you’ll want to head over to a URL shortener tool like Bit.ly to create a custom link. If possible, give it a name that matches your brand, for even more consistency. Taking these extra steps will let you get an idea of how many people are clicking it.
Change Your URL Often
Since Instagram does not allow you to put links in each one of your posts, you are limited to the single link in your profile. This means you’ll want to change it out often, according to the campaigns you’re running, or to beef up the traffic volume to certain pages. Take advantage of the space and send people to different landing pages, product pages, or articles you want to promote. When you think of the link as a call to action, or the link between engagement and return on investment, you’ll get a better idea of when you want to change the link, what you want to change it to, and how often you want to change it.
Use the Location as a Call To Action
When you publish an image on Instagram, you can customize the location. Once it is published, the location shows up below your username, but above the image you shared. Certain companies do benefit from truthfully geotagging the images, but for those that wouldn’t, it’s possible to use the space as a call to action. How can you do this? Manually type in the location. It’s as simple as that because Instagram doesn’t require you to verify the location exists.
Research and Use Hashtags
Instagram is a search engine in and of itself. Taking the time to research the hashtags you want to use can ensure you’re choosing the ones with the most traffic volume that are relevant to your post. Simply include the list of hashtags at the end of your post, rather than worrying about weaving them naturally in the description.
Use tools like Websta, Hashtagify, and Keyhole to research hashtags. Search your ideas to see who is using the hashtags you are considering. Check out the top 100 hashtags to get ideas and see what people are using most often. It’s recommended to limit your hashtags no more than four to nine.
You can also create your own branded hashtag to promote, and encourage people to use it when they are posting content that’s related to your brand. When people post images of your products in use, you want them to get exposure, too. While you can (and should) repost the content, the hashtag use will help searchers find it, even if you don’t happen to see it first.
Developing a Brand on Instagram Can Help Your Domain Authority
When brand awareness becomes more widespread and people start talking about it both online and off, search volume will increase. And when search volume increases, you’ll get more traffic to your website, which will over time, improve your domain authority. As domain authority improves, your overall ranking will improve, too, since it is a ranking factor.
More Social Engagement Means More Traffic and Links
As more people engage with you on social media, you’ll move your way up in popularity on the platforms. When people share your content with their audiences, it can help drive more traffic back to your website, and build an even bigger fan base on social media. When your content resonates with the people who see it on social media, they may link to it in their own content, giving your website more backlinks. Since traffic volume and backlinks are part of how search engines evaluate where a site should rank for various keywords, this is how social media impacts your SEO.
Social Media and SEO Go Hand in Hand, But…
Instagram doesn’t have a direct connection to the major search engines in the sense that activity there has an immediate or direct impact on your rankings. You want to optimize your Instagram profile to ensure that people can discover your content there. You want to be active and engaged there because the increase in traffic and backlinks to your site that could come from your Instagram activity could indirectly improve your rankings. However, expecting Instagram to help you rocket to number one in Google is unrealistic.